5 Museums in Chicago That You Must Visit While You’re in Town


When you’re in the mood to soak up some Chicago culture, you can choose from a variety of different tourist attractions and top-notch museums. Whether you’re an art lover, adventure seeker, or history buff, the Windy City has got you covered. Here are five of the best museums in Chicago.

The Art Institute of Chicago

When you make your way over to The Art Institute, your eyes are immediately drawn to the bronze lions guarding the entrance. These towering figures stand like sentries, watching over the more than 300,000 works of art housed inside the museum. If you love the classics, you’re in luck. As you make your way through the exhibits, you’ll see everything from light and airy Impressionist pieces to ancient works of sculpture and armor from across the globe. But if you’re interested in more recent techniques and styles, you can head over to the contemporary wing, which displays iconic pieces by artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns. And don’t forget to check out the miniature Thorne Rooms, which are a dream come true for any dollhouse lover past or present.

Museum Campus

Museum Campus is made up of three separate tourist attractions (The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium) that each focus on their own special area of wonder. Since these spots are all walking distance from one another, Museum Campus is the perfect destination for an outing with family members who have varied interests. In one day, you and your loved ones can travel back in time to ancient Egypt, soar through the starriest of nights, and take a dive deep into the waves. During this fun-filled outing, be sure to check out the famous Sue the Dinosaur at The Field Museum (she makes even the enormous entrance hall seem small!), Skywatch Live at the Adler Planetarium, and the 360-degree tour of the Caribbean Reef at the Shedd Aquarium.

Museum of Science and Industry

Though the Museum of Science and Industry is a little more out-of-the-way, it’s worth the trip. As one of the oldest museums in Chicago, it has seen lots of Windy City history unfold. If you’re a science lover who really loves to interact with exhibits, the Museum of Science and Industry is for you. After all, it’s one of the largest science museums in the world. While you’re there, you can get your hands dirty in a Coal Mine, take a ride with the Wright Brothers, or enter a real-life fairy-tale with Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle.

Chicago Cultural Center

If you’re a design lover, you’re going to want to head to the Chicago Cultural Center for the Tiffany Stained Glass alone. As you take your first steps into this iconic location, you can’t help but be in awe of the golden marble and stained glass accents that hearken back to a time long past. Depending on when you go, you can see free exhibits and tours, featured artists, or even the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Whether you’re interested in surreal design, interactive teacher workshops, or dance performances, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). Even if you’re not a fan of other art museums in Chicago, you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from the MCA. Past exhibits have included a David Bowie experience and a selection of furniture made of raw steak. These experiences are unlike any other and the exceptional, modern gift shop will allow you to take them home with you to share with your family and friends.

  • The Field Museum

    1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605

    (312) 922-9410

  • Museum of Science and Industry

    5700 South Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60637

    (773) 684-1414

  • Chicago Cultural Center

    78 East Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602

    (312) 744-3316

  • Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

    220 East Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

    (312) 280-2660

  • Shedd Aquarium

    1200 South Lake Shore DriveChicago, IL 60605

    (312) 939-2438

  • Adler Planetarium

    1300 South Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

    (312) 922-7827

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